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The Io Language (iolanguage.org)
133 points by goranmoomin on April 6, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 24 comments

The Io language is a very simple & elegant homoiconic language. It was introduced as one of the seven languages in the '7 Languages in 7 Weeks' book. It's basically influenced by Lisp and Self, Smalltalk.

Two of the best Io-related blog posts by _why:

* Io Has a Very Clean Mirror - https://viewsourcecode.org/why/hackety.org/2008/01/05/ioHasA...

* Lazy Bricks, Lazy Mortar - https://viewsourcecode.org/why/hackety.org/2008/01/10/lazyBr...

And some code examples:

* Making an Account object - https://github.com/IoLanguage/io/blob/master/samples/misc/Ac... * Bottles of Beer - https://github.com/IoLanguage/io/blob/master/samples/misc/Bo...

7 Langs/7 Weeks is such a great book. I was intrigued by Io, but enthralled by Erlang, which ended up taking my career on a wildly different path, if only briefly.

RIP Basho, and thanks Bruce Tate.

Same here, I discovered IO in 7 languages in 7 weeks, and loved how elegant it was.

Curious about 7 Languages in 7 Weeks. For a reader new to all its languages, is it actually readable in seven weeks, and if so, full time?

If you do the exercises it might take seven weeks at a few hours each. If you don't, you could read the book in a night. I don't think I finished it (it was a work bookclub that died out halfway); now would definitely be good time to go back. There's a second book in the series I wanted to try for Elm and Elixir.

I read it over a couple of weeks of sitting out in a pub beer garden on evenings I wasn't doing anything else.

I almost certainly didn't learn everything there was to learn from the book in the process, but I definitely felt like I'd got my value for money out of it.

Sounds about right for a couple of weeks in a summer locked indoors. Thanks

I read about it there too, but maybe I misremembered it.

I cam away with the distinct impression that the great thing about IO was the interpreter could be modified (ala lisp) by adding or removing functions, and as such it was an easy language to create functional "sandboxes" in by just creating a subclass and modifying the available method.

But I can find no mention of that on the projects docs..

Just discovering the language with this post. I'm must say I'm impressed by the syntax. I've read part of the documentation and understand every code example just by reading it, which is sufficiently rare to be mentioned.

I'm thinking to give it a try as a scrpiting language but find it too bad it seems no longer maintained. Code has not changed since 2 years.

To note, there is a pure Go implementation of Io[1] which is actively worked on.

[1] https://github.com/zephyrtronium/iolang

Also noticed this project[1] by IO author which lets you use Python 3 within Io. The readme is rather short but there is a nice example in the sample/ folder[2].

[1] https://github.com/IoLanguage/Python

[2] https://github.com/IoLanguage/Python/blob/master/samples/Usi...

(edited for formatting)

I learned about the Io language from working through the Seven Languages in Seven Weeks book, as I suppose most people did. In the book, it was suggested that you should take a look at the example problems on the Io website. At some point, those example problems disappeared.

I made a backup of those example problems here: https://gist.github.com/jezen/7972975

Some 2 years ago Io got a new way of defining setters, which allowed for implementing destructuring bind ([a,b,c] := someTriple). It took me the better part of a year, but it was very rewarding. I put a write-up on my blog, which might be of interest if you'd like to know more about Io interpreter internals:


Io seems to be abandoned. Is anyone using it?

> Io was created in 2002 and actively developed until 2008. Thanks to everyone that made contributions. Patches are still welcome.

> A JS/WASM implementation might happen some day...

From http://iolanguage.org/about.html

The latest alpha release is from 2019.

Io has been around for a long time, indeed. I thought it was great, writing an Io interpreter in C was a lot easier than almost anything else, so for learning language internals, it is awesome, and I'd even say a great companion to LISP, to play around with how different first principles affect programming -- something that is obscured in mainstream languages, making it harder to learn how the guts work.

My graduation final project was done in Io more than a decade ago.

The language is generally great but it needed some financial muscle on the implementation side as every language do, this stuff is hard.

It also has really bad SEO potential due to its name. Go managed to overcome the issue, but it had google on its side.



The more I program, the less do I value any of these overly dynamic features and elegant aesthetics.

However, I have come to greatly value robust tooling surrounding a language, to the point where I believe designing a language that makes the creation of such tooling difficult (or impossible) is a terrible trade-off.

> language that makes the creation of such tooling difficult (or impossible) is a terrible trade-off.

Any examples? Does Io make such trade-off?

Boring is good.

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